Tracking Tom Cleverley: West Brom (H)

by Sam Peoples

After Tom injured himself against Ajax by tweaking his ankle again, I was worried that he might struggle to find fitness for the run-in and be blighted by small, repetitive injuries.

However, a 20 minute cameo appearance today hopefully marks the return to the squad for Tom.

Paul Scholes, for all his worth to the team, tired dramatically near the hour mark. Uncharacteristic misplaced passes made that obvious for anyone to see (although his pass to Welbeck for his open goal miss was probably his best since returning to the team).

It makes the United squad the strongest it has been since the turn of the year. Now only Fletcher and Vidic remain long term absentees from the team and with the run in now in full swing, we look ready for a battle with City’s squad for the title race.

I really enjoy watching Tom play because he exudes a confidence that is striking considering his age and experience playing for United. I am still a firm believer that Carrick and Cleverley will be our first team pairing when he is fully fit because of how they compliment each others style of play.

Alongside an appearance from Pogba, who must surely now be putting pen to paper to earn his playing time, the United midfield now has options. We have been stretched to the limit this season and if Paul Scholes hadn’t of come out of retirement, then we would have been royally screwed.

With Wolves away next weekend, I would say that SAF will choose to go with experience rather than youth as it will be a tricky affair. However, with a deficit to turn around in Spain in the Europa League, SAF may choose to field a strong squad there to try and save face after we were mauled at home.

Whatever the choices, the return of Tom is a great boost. I feel he was massively important in United’s blistering start to the season as his dynamism allowed the football to flow around him and a return to the squad will boost his chances of making it to the Euros with England. Although, playing for United is more important, naturally.

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